Dominican University of California How We Linked Advising, Registration, and Retention Solutions. Marianne Stickel AACRAO Tech Reno







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Dominican University of California

How We Linked Advising, Registration, and

Retention Solutions




Founded 1890


2,200 students


60 academic programs – Bachelor’s and

Master’s degrees



Sungard Higher Education PowerCAMPUS • small user base

• meets most, but not all, our needs

Converted from Sungard BiTech IFAS in 2008


Advising model

­ Faculty advising model – 89 full-time faculty

­ Academic Advising & Support Center - Six professional advisors

­ Advising and schedule planning occurs once each semester


Business Processes

Board ordered a 2009-10 review of all university business processes that touch revenue, so…. Business Services discontinued the up-front

registration fee as trigger for registration access

Established new parameters for Priority, Open, and Late Registration periods


What were we trying to


To transition from paper-based to interactive form Keep a record of the advising session

Track advisement activity for retention self-study Create an appropriate trigger for online access Create an online toolbox for faculty advisors


Retention Concerns

Needed to add real-time tracking of advisement activity to the data already being collected on persistence

Needed to establish a baseline on conversion of “advised to registered” continuing students as a predictor of continued enrollment


What did we need to


Advisor’s approval to register – in lieu of signature An archival record of the advising session – in lieu

of the paper registration form

The 4-year Guarantee – ensuring that students follow the advisor’s instruction & stay on track


What did we need to


Students registering without advisement

An overload of “approval monitoring” by the faculty advisors

Requiring yet another userID to access the Self-Service online registration site

Attrition or delays in registration due to new processes and/or unclear communication


Who worked on the


Information Technology

Registrar & Operations/Data Manager

Director of Academic Advising & Support Business Services

Retention Work Group


How does it work?

Advising begins 4-5 weeks ahead of the Priority Registration period for the upcoming term

Fall – Early March to mid-April

Spring - Early October to mid-November

E-mail notices to all enrolled students go out in advance, with periodic reminders to meet with their academic advisors before registration


How does it work?

Advisor training sessions are hosted by the Director of Academic Advising & Support and the Registrar, with support from the IT HelpDesk

Advisors use the same local area network site to

access the Advising Session form that they use to access class rosters, degree plan information, and to do online grading

Instructions are provided on the Advisor Portal: Screen shot on next slide.


The Advisor Portal 2010

Developed by the Director of Academic Advising & Support and her staff

Previewed in Advisor training Spring 2010

Provides an online toolbox for academic advisors Lives on the local area network front page, the


Where does it go?

Once the advisor hits the submit button, an e-mail message is generated to:

• The student being advised

• The advisor who submitted the form • Information Technology archive

Since advisor access is via the web, advising

appointments can occur from the advisor’s home or office, via telephone, chat, or e-mail, and can be asynchronous if necessary


Then what??

The students use the e-mailed Advising Session

record as their guide to select courses when they register

The advisors have the option to archive the e-mailed forms in whatever type of e-file they

choose. The pre-designated subject line makes indexing simple.

The advisor can also forward the form to a Dept. Chair, or to another advisor, if desired


What data is available?

When the form is submitted, an e-mail is sent via a “Stored Procedure” in the PowerCAMPUS MS SQL database.

Reports are created by our IT Department in MS Reporting Services

Various reports feature drill-downs on certain fields All are exportable to a variety of applications


What data is available?

These reports are available on the local area

network to University administrators and faculty: • Advised but not registered

• Advised Student List

• Advising and Registration Counts/Comparison • Advising and Section Counts

• Advising Audit by Advisor, by Major • Advising Counts by Date

• Student Advising vs. Registration Audit • Students Not Advised


Sample real-time report showing number

advised into a section vs. number enrolled


Sample report showing how many in a given

major have been advised for the next term


How Did it Work?

Excerpt from Registrar’s May 2010 Board report:

“Online registration for Summer and Fall 2010 began with the

Priority Week April 12-16. In the first three and one-half days, we had registered a larger number of students for the upcoming fall

semester than in any other full five-day Priority Week since the Registrar began tracking this activity in 2006. We enjoyed the full cooperation of faculty, staff, and students in this new venture.

The software performed to our satisfaction, with a few wrinkles yet to be remedied before next fall. Student and faculty

satisfaction levels are high, and we are beginning the assessment process for the next round which occurs in


Enrollment in Week #1

-Fall 2006 through -Fall 2010


»FALL 06 864

»FALL 07 803

»FALL 08 801

»FALL 09 781


Advisor Satisfaction

Zoomerang Survey Results

32 respondents (of about 80 advisors) = 40% return rate

Have you used the Advising form? 30 YES = 94%

Has it functioned as you expected, based on the training you received? 29 YES, 1 NO, 2 BLANK = 91% YES On a scale of 1-10, how pleased are you with this new advising

tool? 7.73 AVG - 73% scored it 7 or higher


Credit Where it is Due

The Wizard (and son)

Peter Mentzer, Director of Online Technology


Credit Where it is Due

Academic Advising & Support Center


Technical Specifications 1

• The code for this tool is ASPX custom code in custom pages on our SharePoint intranet

Developer Note: You can add custom ASPX pages to SharePoint by using SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio, and then modifying your root

web.config file to allow custom code to run on those pages

• Eligible students are pulled from a modified VIEW in the powercampus MS SQL database

• Available advising terms are pulled from a modified VIEW in the powercampus MS SQL database

• Available sections are pulled out of the powercampus MS SQL database and populate dropdown lists so that section data is “normalized” and

standard reports can be run against it later.

Developer Note: This is pretty inefficient because we query the database once per dropdown. There’s probably a much smarter way to cache these results and then re-use them, but we didn’t have time to figure that one


Technical Specifications 2

• The data for the advising session is written into two custom tables that we added to the powercampus database: one for the session, and one for

each course advised in that session.

• We create more advising sessions in the database if a student is advised more than once. We don’t add data into the advising session once it’s

created. We simply create additional advising sessions.

Developer Note: This was done to make it a simple system to develop and maintain and to make sure we had a record of everything that was

advised. A possible improvement would be to support “versions” of a given advising session.

• When the page is submitted, and email is sent via a Stored Procedure in the powercampus MS SQL database. The email body is a record of the advising session, and it is sent to the person who conducted the advising session and to the student.

• Not only does this provide feedback to the users that the form was

submitted successfully, but it’s a great “cheatsheet” that the students can use when registering online for their classes.







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